What is Patriotism

   Posted by: chris   in Fish Talk

What is patriotism?

Is patriotism standing to attention while a song is being played hand on breast facing a flag? If so then I guess we are all patriots even those who unwilling fall in line by force of threat or peer pressure.

Is it OK to cheat on your taxes so long as you stand for the national anthem, is it OK to take benefit that you are not entitled to, is it OK to goof off while you work on your government, state or city job, to call in sick just because you can.

For most people patriotism is a badge of affiliation similar to a team baseball hat. It shows the world which team your loyalties belong to. But just as with the sports fan there is a strong dividing line between our affiliations and our everyday life.

How many people are Yankees fans when it comes to earning money? How many Yankees fans would turn down a job because the company owner was a red sox fan? And so to Patriotism; how many people think of their country when it comes to their own personal money.

Would a patriot hire a professional tax attorney to limit his/her support of a nation they purported to love and cherish above their own life.

Patriotism is the act of putting ones allegiance to ones country above all else including their own family and their own life.

A careful perusal of the dead and wounded from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will show a marked unbalanced in favor of the lower income classes. It appears that patriotism is for the poor.

On the other hand if one was to measure instances of the rhetoric of patriotism the imbalance would fall in favor of the upper classes. The very folks who go out of their way to pay as little tax as possible denying their financial support of the nation and its troops are the ones who are most likely to be found spouting off patriotic rhetoric.

So any discussion of patriotism must differentiate between the charlatans who speak “patriot” but live “me” and the people who actually live patriot but seldom mention it.

A recent overly zealous patriotic leader George Bush hid in the Texas Air National Guard when his chance to serve overseas in Viet Nam with his less financially gifted fellow patriots presented in 1968, yet he went on to play the patriot card to extremes to the detriment of the country leaving the nation devastated financially when he left office.

His predecessor Bill Clinton hid in Canada to avoid service in the Vietnam campaign while over 50,000 patriots where making the ultimate sacrifice and hundreds of thousands suffered grave injuries.

It is interesting to note that almost 270,000 purple hearts where issued to servicemen during the Vietnam campaign. No recent president is the recipient of a purple heart, yet they have no qualms in sending the children of the working classes to die on battlefields in conflicts where the only winner is capital.

Judging by the price of gas and a barrel of crude the only winners from the invasion of Iraq are the oil companies. It is hard to see what the American people gained from the Iraq conflict when they are been hit hard at the pump and taxed through the nose to pay for the unfortunate decision to invade.

In the end it comes down to the sad fact that patriotism is for the poor. The wealthy may talk a good story but talk is all they are prepared to risk.

Patriotism is a way of life, it is not ritual to be performed in public when a song plays or a pledge is read. True patriots have no need for a pledge of allegiance. They have already pledged in a deeper place than any public rhetoric or sham show of support can ever go.

A patriot is a patriot at the very core of their being; it is who and what they are, first and foremost. Not only on the Fourth of July or Patriots day but 24/7 365 days a year. Patriots love their country not a flag or anthem. Flags and anthems are mere symbols, their country is real. To a Patriot every last grain of soil, every single creature, every man, every woman, every child is America.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 1:46 pm and is filed under Fish Talk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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